Salihorsk court turns down activist’s claim for moral damage compensation
Deputy Chair of the Salihorsk District Court Ala Trafimchuk has dismissed the suit of local activist of the European Belarus opposition movement Uladzimir Lemesh asking to compensate for non-pecuniary damage caused to him by the department of internal affairs of the Salihorsk district executive committee.
On 27 September 2014, the activist was detained by local police and charged with disorderly conduct. After that, Uladzimir Lemesh was placed in a temporary detention facility, where he was held two days in degrading conditions. On September 29, the youth was fined 300,000 rubles. However, after appealing the verdict to the Minsk Regional Court and its reconsideration on 5 January 2015, the activist was acquitted.
In early March, Uladzimir Lemesh sent two lawsuits against the local police department. The activists demanded an apology from the police for damages caused by his unlawful detention and subsequent stay in degrading conditions, as well as a total of 20 million rubles in moral damages.
At the hearing, which was held on April 24, the plaintiff was officially represented by Leanid Markhotka of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee. According to Mr. Markhotka, Judge Trafimchuk did not listen to his arguments and did not satisfy the claim. The disproportionate preventive measures, including a two-day detention and a fine on charges of hooliganism, was justified by the national legislation. Meanwhile, the judge rejected all references the international standards of human rights.
According to Leanid Markhotka, the decision will be appealed to a higher court after receiving the reasoning part of the judgment.